When you are working to become a full-time artist, getting paid shows is the base of your existence. Every month can be stressful to make up the money you need to survive if you don’t get enough shows or bookings.
Don’t quit your day job if you don’t have the basis to support yourself quite yet.
Today we’ll have an in-depth look at what you can do to support your booking system, how to promote yourself and what to do during the time when there are no current bookings to attend to.
Before you move on; If you are at the beginner phase and would like to have structured steps to follow in order for you to reach this stage to get regular bookings and become an independent musician, don’t miss the blog post I published about this right here.
Update your Press Kit
Your press kit is like your CV as a musician that says everything about you that you would like to show. It is crucial that you update it as well and professionally as you can.
Looking through the eyes of a venue host, the following is important to me in an EPK:
- Recorded music: Can the artist perform a well-rehearsed set and does the music genre suit my guests?
- Upcoming shows: I would like to see if they are popular and how professionally they behave on stage.
- Images of shows: Do they have a well-established image? Do the concerts look interesting?
- Updated social media platforms: Do they have a fan base to fill a venue and be profitable?
- Link to buy merchandise: Have merchandise and has an interesting brand?
- Links to music videos and interviews
- Your biography and instruments
In this article I wrote about important reasons that you should record a demo, there is also a short section about making an EPK online. Give it a go if you still need one!
This post was written and posted by De Wet from startingmyband.com on 11.03.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere else.
Create an Email List of Venues
This is the first step that an artist manager takes. Building up an email list of your target audiences. This is the best way how venues to keep track of your progress and growth as an artist, and the best way for you to stay on their cards.
It might be that something like this already exists in your city or area. Instead of inventing the wheel all over, try to check if someone else might already create one.
It may take a bit of luck to find an email list of potential venues in your area, but it’s definitely worth asking around for and it will save you lots of time.
If you don’t find one, the second best thing is to build one yourself. It’s like building an email list, but of places and venue managers in your area. Target about 50 venues within about 50 km radius.
Once you are ready, go ahead and send your EPK and readiness to perform out to your targeted venues.
Even if you don’t get the answers or reactions you expect, keep building your list, and keep emailing meaningful updates with links to your social media platforms.
Advertise your Availability to Perform
Especially after Covid-19, we had a mass of musicians ready to perform again. With reassurance about lockdowns and people allowed to enter venues again, we had to become more creative.
Many musicians started to post advertisements about their music and that they are filling up their bookings for the year. This can be sold to them as if you are currently a popular booking to have in order to make your targeted venue curious.
Post on your social media and ask your artist friends to share your post. Sooner or later the fish will bite.
Target Radio Stations
While you are on the lookout for gigs, the best type of groundwork you can do for yourself is self-promotion.
Get in contact with radio stations. This could be a great opportunity to build contacts and do some networking in the industry. Think about building another email or contact list from different locations to make your music known to the public.
Make sure to link your EPK and newly released songs to them.
Reach Out to Podcasters, YouTubers and Bloggers
There are always hosts on the lookout to have interviews with people within their niches.
- Try to find hosts that have a similar target market to what you are looking for.
- Draw up an email about your interest in being part of their shows.
- Include your updated EPK.
- Be patient for a day or two.
These guys normally react quite quickly, and therefore an outcome is imminent.
Guest Appearances at Open Mic Nights
You’ve surely taken part in previous karaoke or open mic nights as a beginner.
Return to your roots once in a while and make a spontaneous reappearance. This will show your appreciation to the people and venues that contributed to your success.
Of course, this alone does not get your bills paid, but it has various other advantages:
- Self-promotion to make new fans
- Reminding the fans and venues about your talent
- Creating valuable live content for social media
Reach Out to an Artist Manager
Perhaps looking into having a manager might be the right option for you. There are tons of advantages to having a manager, other than having a knowledgeable person supporting you.
If that might be something for you, but you are still unsure, don’t miss the article I wrote about When is the Time to Find a Manager for Your Band?
Your first manager should be someone that gets your career on track and organise regular bookings. If you are wondering what type of person to appoint or who to look out for, go ahead and read my post about What Makes a Good Artist Manager right here.
So what do you do for more gigs? Feel free to share some clever and creative ideas in the comment section!
Until next time…